The sports marketing thriller, which began as a spec by Alex Convery about a young running shoe firm named Nike seeking the most revolutionary player in the history of sports: Michael Jordan, is being produced by Amazon Studios, Skydance Sports, and Mandalay Pictures.
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are teaming for the second time, and this time is for a feature film based on the actual tale of former Nike executive Sonny Vaccarro, which will be produced by Amazon Studios and Skydance Sports, who are now finalizing their arrangement.
The unnamed sports marketing drama will be directed, written, co-starred in, and produced by Affleck, while Damon will act, write, and produce. Mandalay Pictures, founded by Peter Guber and Jason Michael Berman, will also join the producing process.
In a story about Nike’s longshot effort to sign rising superstar basketball player Michael Jordan to its shoe company in the mid-eighties, Damon will play Vaccarro and Affleck will portray Nike co-founder Phil Knight, in a narrative about Nike’s longshot attempt to attract emerging superstar basketball player Michael Jordan to its shoe firm in the mid-eighties, an endorsement that appeared unachievable at the time but, thanks to the maverick sneaker salesman, would become the most significant relationship between an athletic brand and The deal ushered in the multibillion-dollar current shoe business while also assisting the sport in doing so.
Vaccarro‘s obsessive search to recruit Jordan to what was then the third-place shoe brand, a voyage that brought him to Jordan‘s parents, particularly his powerful, dynamic mother, as well as previous coaches, advisers, and friends, would be the subject of the narrative. Even though Vaccarro tries to contact Jordan by obtaining access to individuals close to him and surrounding him, Jordan will remain a fabled figure hanging over the film and never seen.
The 2015 ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Sole Man, which focused on Vaccaro and his life, is pivotal in the proceedings. Skydance Sports president Jon Weinbach was instrumental in securing the Emmy-winning Jordan series The Last Dance, which he co-produced with Mandalay chairman Guber.
When Weinbach co-directed Sole Man with now-Skydance Sports senior VP Dan Marks, he worked with the basketball industry veteran. Mandalay initially acquired the original script, titled Air Jordan and written by Alex Convery, which was bought in by VP Jordan Moldo, and then presented the concept to Weinbach at Skydance Sports.
The script for the movie, which will be the first big picture from David Ellison‘s newly formed Skydance Sports subsidiary, is now being rewritten by Affleck and Damon. Skydance already has a sports connection thanks to its backer, RedBird Capital.
This will be Affleck‘s first time directing a film starring Damon, who has been a long-time friend of his. The two famously won an Oscar for penning the screenplay for Gus van Sant’s film Good Will Hunting, which starred Damon and included Affleck in a supporting part. Last year, the two reunited for Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel, in which Damon reprised his role as the lead while Affleck had a supporting one.
Convery is frequent on the Black List, with his script Bag Man appearing in 2018 and his Stan Lee biography Excelsior! appearing in 2020. UTA and Grandview are his agents.
WME represents both Affleck and Damon.